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how an event professional can work with their team for pitching practise

Event pitching in the eyes of a young #eventprof

As #eventprofs we’re all familiar with the dreaded pitch day. The endless days working on the deck, sleepless nights, trying to get it absolutely perfect and pre-empt any and all questions your potential new client could ever dream of. Pitches are incredibly important – you need to be better than everyone else and, if you win, you could be bringing years of profitable business with a client relationship that could bring endless future opportunities. On top of all that, an exciting new project can invigorate your whole team. But not everyone is experience when it comes to pitching and, in the last month, we ran a mock pitching exercise for our team at Sleek Events. Here’s what our most junior team member got out of it as a young #eventprof and the advice she’d give to others.

My first event pitching experience

As a junior employee, who is fairly new to the events world, pitches can be scary and carry a lot of pressure. Being able to practise pitching with a trial run is really important and helps the team feel more prepared for when the big ones come in! So, recently at Sleek Events, to practise our pitching skills, we decided it would be a useful exercise to treat our own Summer Party for suppliers and industry friends as an event we needed to pitch to win – the ‘client’ being our MD & Founder. For budding #eventprofs out there, here’s how we did it…

  • Firstly, we all came together as a team and identified who would own each area, depending on each individual’s strengths and expertise. Next, we decided on a timeline of deadlines to set ourselves, so we had plenty of space to review each stage and refine our presentation in good time before pitch day.
  • After researching each component – such as venue, catering, marketing and comms, entertainment and fundraising – everyone came together for daily team meetings to review progress. We made sure we were all aligned in terms of group actions and helped each other to refine next steps. We kept a close eye on the budget and utilised all of our contacts to keep costs down – it was a charity event after all!
  • Once we had received sign off on big decisions such as venue and entertainment options from relevant directors, we worked on pulling together all the elements into one presentation deck. We spent a lot of time making it look interesting and aesthetically pleasing. Then we all gave it a sense check and our best proofreader ensured the flow, spelling, grammar and consistency of message were all on point. The little things are just as important as the big things – attention to detail never goes unnoticed!
  • With the deck finalised and costs confirmed, we spent some time rehearsing and decided who would deliver each section of the pitch. It’s important to strike the right balance between knowing your subject but not sounding too rehearsed – you don’t want to lose your personality as that can be one of the things that wins you a pitch.
  • Finally, it was pitch day! We’d all had a good night’s sleep and a healthy team breakfast to set ourselves up for the day, going over any last minute notes. The pitch was a great success and, luckily, we won it! Now the real planning (and all the fun!) could begin.

Our MD was extremely impressed with all our hard work and how serious we had taken the exercise. It had brought us all together as a team and helped us identify our strengths.Our party is next week – keep an eye out on our social media to see the fun you can have when you’re fundraising!

shaking hands to seal the deal after winning a pitch

Here’s our top tips for a successful pitch:

  • Build your story – create a pitch that flows. Showing a beginning, middle and end, like a story, will not only help the client see that this event would be a success but will also give them an insight into how you work. If the pitch is clear, well thought through and shows a clear progression plan, they will want to work with you. It’s all about making your client’s life easier!
  • Think long-term – consider what your long-term opportunities might be if you win this pitch. Opening this door may lead to plenty more projects, so be prepared and think beyond just this event.
  • Get creative – presenting unique ideas that will grab their attention is a sure-fire way to impress a potential client. Let them know you have really thought about a variety of options and solutions to bring about the most memorable event. Using client case studies to demonstrate your expertise helps solidify your position as event professionals and will add gravitas to your pitch. They want to know you can actually follow through with what you’re proposing.
  • Teamwork makes the dream work – not only is pitching to your boss a really worthwhile exercise for pitching experience, but it’s also a fun team-building experience. We now feel prepared for our next client pitch and feel like we can handle anything that is thrown at us. As they say, practice makes perfect!

If you’d like to be an #eventprof, keep an eye on our social media for job opportunities: Instagram LinkedIn Twitter

 

A day in the life of an #eventprof… onsite

According to the most recent survey by  CareerCast.com*, events management is the fifth most stressful profession, behind military jobs, police, firefighters and other life-death careers. Even though this is a poll of US employees, I’m sure as #eventprofs in the UK, we’ve all been able to relate to this stress at some point or other! The pressure of liaising with suppliers, clients and delivering to deadlines can definitely get on top of all of us but equally, that adrenaline rush is exactly why we love what we do! We were recently onsite for a corporate event in London, so we caught up with Project Manager, Erin, to hear all about a day in the life of an onsite event professional… 

It’s set-up day. What’s first on the to-do list?

I usually try and get up at around 5am, so I can shower and get ready for the long day ahead without feeling rushed. Once the team is all onsite, the first thing on the list is to set up our production office so we have an organised space to work from. The client is due onsite a couple of hours after us, so we ensure all the relevant suppliers have arrived and started to install, I meet with the venue representative to do a pre-client onsite run through and then hit the to-do list! Amongst the important tasks, someone always goes for a Pret run when we have a moment, to make sure we all have a good breakfast. It’s sometimes difficult to remember to eat when you’re onsite, so now’s the time for everyone to eat and get some water.

pouring water from a jug into a glass - a reminder to keep hydrated

By midday, the client has just arrived so we catch up, update them with the install process and get them some lunch! For the rest of the afternoon, I concentrate on the install. For this particular event, the AV was the largest part of the install, so most of our attention is on getting this ready for rehearsals to start in the afternoon. Later in the afternoon the CEO arrives onsite, so while the team has divided and conquered to ensure each area is on time – branding, registration, expo etc – my efforts are focused in the keynote room where the CEO has started rehearsing for tomorrow morning’s event opener.

Set-up day is coming to an end – what are your last minute checks to ensure live day goes smoothly?

Once the rehearsals are over, the client team heads offsite, so our evening is made up of snagging and fixing a few last-minute branding issues. We then grab a quick bite to eat whilst the last of the suppliers are finishing up before heading to a nearby hotel before midnight. We always try and stay as close as possible to the venue. Someone from the team checks us in during the afternoon – this way the team can head straight to bed once we’ve finished after a long day.

The view from the venue over London at the end of the day

What is your routine the night before live day?

Once back at the hotel, I usually do some stretching after being on my feet all day – I’ll have clocked up lots of steps! I then re-read all my documents and checklists to make sure I know what’s going on at every single second of the event. It’s so much easier to deal with any issues that inevitably will arise when you are fully prepared and know every detail inside and out. I’ll also take some time to write some notes of any little reminders or actions I need to do when I first get onsite in the morning. Following this, relaxation is key! You need to be able to switch off in our industry – before this event I had a relaxing bath and then got an early night.

So, how did it go? How do you unwind post event?

The event went well and the client is happy – this is the most important thing! Once it’s all wrapped up and all suppliers are offsite, myself and the team head to a nearby restaurant for a pizza and a drink. We’ll chat about how the day went, share any onsite pictures and then a summer favourite is to head home to catch up on Love Island!

What are your 3 top tips for long days onsite?

  • WATER – it’s so easy to get dehydrated onsite. It makes you feel so much more awake when drinking enough. We send reminders in the group chat or even over comms every now and again to make sure everyone is keeping hydrated.
  • Get enough sleep pre and post show – there is no way to avoid lack of sleep onsite but stocking up before definitely helps.
  • Enjoy it! The best way to get through a long day is to actually enjoy it. The lead up to an event can be so long and detailed that it’s worth taking it all in onsite and enjoying the day with the Sleek team and the client.

Events Coordinator is the 5th most stressful job in the CareerCast.com poll. How do you combat stress?

  • Lots of lists to make sure everything that can be done has been!
  • The team: having the right team and support around you is key.
  • A post-event stretch/yoga class and, of course, a glass of wine helps too!

a yoga studio - a reminder to de-stress

Working in events can mean times when the pressure is on but it’s also extremely rewarding and fun. If you’d like to work in events, keep an eye on our social media for job opportunities:

Instagram

LinkedIn

Twitter

*CareerCast.com 2019 survey can be viewed here: https://www.careercast.com/jobs-rated/2019-jobs-rated-stress

Day in the Life of an #eventprof … a Project Manager tells all

This month we are entering into the world of one of our wonderful project managers, Claire Riddell. Claire joined us in June last year and has made huge strides in the company, working on corporate and private clients. We asked what a typical day looked like for her in the exciting, yet busy, world of events!

My alarm wakes me up at 6:30am everyday. I like to take 5 minutes to wake up and often find myself thinking about what I need to do to achieve my goals for the day. I have a shower, do my makeup and then leave the house at 7:30am to catch the train. On my way to work I like to catch up on the news, but it’s also a good time to get stuck into a new book or a podcast! At the moment, I’m reading “Everything I know about parties, dates, friends, jobs, life, love” by Dolly Alderton.

Once I get to the office at 8.45am, I catch up on emails while having my breakfast and chat with the girls to see how everyone is. Breakfast is a much-needed coffee and some porridge with fruit, which sets me up for the day. Around 10am, we usually have a team meeting to discuss a pitch for a client or a status update on any upcoming events we are managing. With the telephone constantly ringing and the ever-changing events industry, my day doesn’t always go to plan, but this is what makes no two days the same and keeps me on my toes.

Next, I have several catch-up calls with clients and suppliers, to touch base and update them with progress and details. Other typical tasks include researching and sourcing venues if we have a new brief, managing budgets and nailing down the finer details of an event to ensure our client is the happiest they can be.

I do always try to make time for a decent break at lunchtime. I like to walk into Richmond and grab something healthy – my favourite lunch in this cold weather is a nice warming soup. After lunch, the day always seems to fly by so, to make sure my days are as productive as possible, I spend half an hour at the end of each day planning and writing a ‘to do’ list for the next day.

My job also involves attending networking events once or twice a week, which helps to keep me up to date on event trends and meeting other #eventprofs. Sharing experiences and learning from others is something which I value very highly, and it’s also a good excuse for a drink or two! If I’m not going to a networking event or meeting up with friends, I often spend my evening keeping myself fit – a spin class is a favourite. After the gym it’s time to wind down by watching a documentary with my flatmate, making some dinner (salmon and roasted veg – yum!) and enjoying a glass of red wine.

Working at Sleek Events has been amazing so far – the people, the office and the clients really make it such an exciting and rewarding way to spend my days. No two days are ever the same in the world of events, which is something I really enjoy and keeps me on the look-out for the next challenge!

Sleek team

Recruiting for 3 new roles… join our team!

We’re looking for 3 new fantastic people at Sleek Events. Fancy joining our #DreamTeam? Take a look at these 3 jobs by clicking on the job roles below:

  1. Project & Sponsorship Executive Job Description
  2. Senior Project Manager Job Description
  3. Placement Job Description

woman laughing in office

More information about us…

Company Overview
Sleek Events is based in Richmond. We work with companies and agencies looking to outsource their event planning and organisation to an experienced partner. We also work with individuals needing support to organise something special for a loved one, anniversary or other celebration.

From exclusive private parties to globally-recognised exhibitions and conferences, we can handlethe entire process for our clients, both in the UK and overseas.

Sleek Vision
Sleek are the most responsive and creative boutique events agency in London. We never say “no”, we say “how?”. Our friendly events professionals are passionate about every job regardless how large and small and set out on a mission to ensure they are successful and memorable.

The Way We Work
We are one big dream team here at Sleek Events. We pride ourselves on a culture made up of:
● Mutual respect
● Loyalty
● Authenticity
● Unity
● Fun
● Creativity
● Personable

We also have a rule at Sleek Events: if you put in 100% during work hours, you must 100% chill out on your days off.

 

Izzie at graduation

Life after university: a day in the life of a new #eventprof

The most recent addition to our team is Izzie Lachecki. She joined us as Marketing & Events Coordinator just 8 weeks ago and has already become an integral part of our dream team. For our latest blog, we asked her to share her journey to choosing events as a career.

When people ask what you want to be when you grow up, most of us say ‘astronaut’ or ‘ballerina’. Personally, I wanted to be a princess! Even though it’s just a bit of fun to dream about the future, it’s easy to lose sight of our dreams and end up settling for something we don’t love, just because we feel pressure to do something with our lives.

When I was at school, and then studying Psychology at university (Uni of Leeds – woo hoo!), I worried quite a lot about where my life was going and started trying to panic-buy a career path. In fact, I used to feel so envious of my friends studying medicine or law because they had a guaranteed career choice. There is so much pressure to decide exactly what you want to do and make it happen as soon as you have finished university – but more often than not it doesn’t work out this way. It’s okay to not know what you want to do!

Izzie on her travels in Western Australia

Izzie on her travels in Western Australia

The day after I graduated from university, I flew to Fiji and began a year of travelling the world. It was incredible. However, when I returned home, pretty penniless and feeling a bit down, I decided I needed to do something to begin a career journey that I actually liked. I had an interest in marketing, so reached out to a couple of companies to chat with their marketing teams to see if they had any advice. They told me to sign up to a recruitment agency, which is free, which really helped me improve my CV and express my personality. I found myself googling and applying for every internship in London (even though I lived three hours away). Soon enough, I was invited to interviews.

After a couple of rejections, I came for an interview here at Sleek Events. As soon as I walked through the door, I knew this was a place I wanted to work. The vibe of the company and its values really appealed to me, plus everyone was so friendly. I came away desperately hoping I would get the job – and two (very long) days later – I did!

Once I started, it was a bit of a shock to the system – I was used to running around barefoot in Australia, not working from 9-5.30 every day! But once I adjusted to living in London and settled in to the company a bit, I started to really enjoy the routine. It’s been two months and I’m still here – so I must be doing something right! The events industry is such a brilliant industry to get into – I love how I’m doing something different every day and get to travel to amazing places.

Izzie with the rest of the team

Izzie is now part of our team at Sleek Events

Although I love how my life has turned out so far, it doesn’t mean I didn’t have some disappointment along the way! My top three tips for people coming out of uni who are worrying about what the world of work holds for them are:

  1.   Just breathe. Sit down with a cuppa and try to note down your interests, areas you think you might like to work in, what experience you might need, and how you might go about getting into the industry. Google is your best friend!
  2. Follow any companies you might like to work at on social media – this will give you a taste of the company and also the industry. I stalked Sleek Events on Instagram for weeks! And don’t forget, if you have things on your social media that you’d be embarrassed for a potential employer to see, make your personal social media accounts private – being aware of what you post is really important.
  3.   Have a really strong CV and interview technique. Recruitment agencies will help with this. Research CV templates or interview techniques both generally and specific to a career sector, to make your application stand out. This will help you be better prepared for any tricky questions in interviews.

Above all, it’s so important to be yourself and follow your heart. If you end up in a job you hate, you don’t have to stay for the rest of your life – so don’t panic! To quote one of my favourite movies: “Everything will be alright in the end, and if it’s not alright, it’s not the end.”

We’re hiring: Events Coordinator

Company Overview

Sleek Events is based in Richmond. We work with companies and agencies looking to outsource their event planning and organisation to an experienced partner. We also work with individuals needing support to organise something special for a loved one, anniversary or other celebration.

From exclusive private parties to globally-recognised exhibitions and conferences, we can handle the entire process for our clients, both in the UK and overseas.

www.sleekevents.co.uk

Responsibilities

The role will consist of, but will not be limited to, the elements outlined below.

Generic

  • Direct support to Event Executives and other senior members of staff as required
  • Creating templates for upcoming events & sponsor manuals
  • Help with shipping items, printing shipping labels & stock check
  • General office admin – including adding hostess & supplier directories

Events related

  • Venue and supplier related:
    • Research (including creating findings decks)
    • Negotiating
    • Venue only – site visits including site-visit reports
  • Propose new ideas to improve the event planning and implementation process
  • Assist with managing onsite production and clean up for events as necessary
  • Prepare onsite briefing documents for events including: running orders, run of show, hostess briefings, other supplier briefings
  • Print any documents needed onsite beforehand, including A3 floorplans
  • Packing of equipment needed for onsite
  • Event look & feel: investigating opportunities at venues, creation of look & feel deck
  • Build & breakdown of events as required
  • Supporting clients onsite at exhibitions, training days, etc
  • Booking of travel & hotels where necessary
  • Attending expos & FAM trips where relevant – followed by creating overview of key contacts, venues, etc
  • Coordinate appointments and site visits, as well as scheduling & researching events on the calendar
  • Sponsorship management:
    • Inbox management
    • Preparing of templates.

Benefits

  • Great office space in Richmond
  • Friendly, motivated co-workers in a fun office environment
  • Travel opportunities
  • Competitive salary

Application process:

Closing date for applications is Friday 8th December at 5.00pm

Interviews to take place week commencing Monday 18th December

Apply with your CV & covering letter to hello@sleekevents.co.uk

Job Type: Full-time

Salary: £19,000.00 /year